The Facts About Childhood Obesity
Generally, we don’t think about weight loss for children. How many times have you heard they will grow into it? Or it’s just baby fat. The truth is Childhood Obesity is a real epidemic in this country. It has tripled since 1963 and approximately 23 million children are overweight.
- Half of children with Juvenile Diabetes are Obese
- Healthcare costs for overweight children top 150 billion a year
- 70% of Obese children are at risk for Heart Disease
So how do you know your child is Obese? Usually, you can tell. A few pounds here and there , they probably will grow out of but the studies show overweight children turn into overweight adults. Here is a weight and BMI chart for children weight chart
Overweight Children: The Causes
So how does this happen? There are a few factors. Children spend too much time on their Computers, TVs, Video Games. Lack of activity is maybe the number one cause of Obesity in children. Portion control is another factor. Kids don’t have impulse control nor do they understand consequences the way we do as adults.
Emotional Eating is a very real factor with children. I went through this with my youngest son after my divorce. He went from a skinny kid to 300 pounds by the time he was twelve. He was eating his feelings and I felt so helpless. It was then I did the research and realized an effective plan for families.
Talking To Your Child
A discussion is imperative. You have, to be honest with your child but sensitive. Telling them they are fat and need to lose weight will never work. You need to tell them of your concerns for their health and be honest about what could happen.
Have A Family Meeting
The mistake I see many families make is they treat this as the child’s problem. It isn’t, it’s a family problem and must be addressed to the whole family. You have to fix the problem together and not singular. Which means everyone has to get onboard with the necessary lifestyle changes.
Your chance of success is higher if your child doesn’t feel alone. So have a family meeting and discuss the healthy lifestyle changes that everyone will be making. Remember that as the parent you have the control.
Just like you make them do their homework at certain times you must set rules for eating and activities.
- Set Time limits on Gaming, TV etc
- Enforce portion control and snack limits (lock it up if you have to)
- Be informed about their progress with eating and exercise
Plan daily and weekly activities that you do together. Exercise is more effective with kids if it is fun and your options are limitless.
A Daily Walk After Dinner Is A Great Way To Bond And Be Active
You want them to be accountable for their weight loss so let them be involved in the process. You can plan the meals together, shop together and cook together.
I hope these tips will help you get your child’s weight under control. It is about their health and preventing more serious conditions. Approaching it together will help the whole family!